Keith Law Ranks J.P. Crawford as #7 Prospect in Baseball (Nola #57)

A day after dubbing the Phillies the #25 farm system in baseball, Law ranked their top prospect #7.  Keith has always raved about Crawford, and his writeup does not deviate from that.  Law mentions his plus defense, his ability to make adjustments, and good swing.  Crawford was often mentioned as a toolsy player out of the 2013 draft, but his feel for the game has impressed everyone, including the Phillies.  Crawford is second among members of the 2013 draft class on the list (behind only Kris Bryant).

Joining Crawford in the Top 100 is 2014 #7 overall pick Aaron Nola.  Nola comes in at #57, and Law gives him 70 grade command of his fastball.  He only puts an above average grade on the breaking ball and changeup.  Law puts his ceiling as a #3 starter with a high floor.

Missing from the list is Maikel Franco (Law’s #63 prospect a year ago).  Franco had a “down” year in AAA, especially to start the season.  He rebounded towards the end, earning a call up to the majors.  He has been red hot in winter league.  I do find the omission a bit strange, but it fits with his org ranking from yesterday.


Law Crawford Law Franco

Photo by Tom Hagerty

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.


  1. allentown1

    I think there are different points of view on how much credit/discredit to give for AFL and winter league performances. Franco’s performance has to be a plus, but he did hit a very big speed bump in AAA, from which he seemed to recover. I think the biggest divergence of opinion on Franco is whether or not his range will allow him to play 3B in the majors. His glove seemed fine in his short time in Philly, although the bat was not, but the biggest negative I consistently read about Franco is that his 3B range is poor and will get worse as he ages, forcing a move to 1B, where the bat doesn’t play as well. I saw him in person about a dozen games in Allentown and thought his defense was very good, although the quickness and arm are the strong points. The decision on top 100 probably came down to a little above or below 100 and he just fell a little on the wrong side. I’ll guess Keith had him in his top 120.

    • Romus

      Of all the 3rd basemen you have seen play in the majors….who would Franco comp to?

  2. andyb

    Aramis Ramirez might be a good comp if one considers what the best possible projection for Franco would be. I suspect Franco will end up a little heavier over time, but that is the type of player he compares to. Hopefully the defense remains acceptable (as it did with Ramirez) so the offense can play very well at the position.

    • Romus

      Yes….also was thinking Beltre….but that may be too far of a reach.

      • andyb

        Beltre is a gold glover and much more athletic – so is not a great comparison. Offense probably sets the bar too high as well. I do think Franco can put of multiple 800 OPS seasons. Probably will only walk 40-50 times a year, but also won’t strike out that much. 260/310/490 might be a decent slash for him. That is pretty good if he stays at 3B. Less good at 1B.

  3. phillysf

    So Franco is not a top 100 prospect, and yeah having a swing geared for power is horrible thing, kl forget to mention his plus bat speed as a detriment to his future as well

    • Romus

      Also says Franco swings more or less for power only…nothing more.
      Then he says this about Joey Gallo…everyone’s latest favorite;
      ” They’ve (Rangers) focused on guys that can be exceptional. That’s why you get Joey Gallo. I know his flaws and I’ve seen his flaws, but if he clicks, it’s a monster. He could hit 40 homers and drive in 100 runs for you. He can do so many things with his bat. That’s the kind of player the Rangers should go after.”
      ….ok Gallo has ‘flaws’, but his ‘flaws’ are less sever then Franco’s I assume!…..though Gallo k rate is approx. 34%… be frank I am not in total agreement of his assessment and projection for Franco.

      • USSWasteland

        I think the thing with Gallo vs. Franco is that Franco has such a long swing that despite his exceptional hand eye coordination and bat speed he is forced into weak contact when he guesses wrong, but still avoids strikeouts. I don’t know a whole lot about Gallo, but based on the numbers, he must have a shorter swing while still absolutely crushing the ball, and the strikeouts are probably just straight up misses. So the contact ability might not be anything special, but when he does make contact, the ball explodes. Also, Franco’s power is a 65 or so; Gallo is regarded as having true 80 grade power.

        • Romus

          Gallo has also a long swing….from the back and loads up…thus the very high K rate.
          He has his flaws as KLaw says……everyone is enamored with his explosive power….just as they were with Howard (2004), Mark Reynolds(2006)and way back when with Dave Kingman….and they were exciting with their power but their contact shortfalls dampened their careers..